Sunday, October 28, 2007

hating everything in prison

here's a modern take on the pains of imprisonment from david, one of my inside students. this is an excerpt from a larger essay he wrote discussing classic sociological/criminological theory (including, in his case, durkheim, quinney, and marx) and his view of the purposes of punishment. the last part of the assignment asked for reflection on how well prisons fit the purpose(s) of punishment; here is his thoughtful and brutally honest response:

"…from the moment I rise, to the moment I rest, I feel punished. Even sleep is a task…I hate everything. I hate the bells at 5:15 am, the sound of my alarm, the bland colors, the lukewarm food, fluorescent lights, concrete floors, metal detectors, the low pay, the limited options, and “cooking” with 190 degree water. I hate the headphones, the monotony, the fences, the guards, the tours, the TV, the bunks, the spreads, I hate it all. I miss my parents, my job, my money, my home, my space, my clothes, my jewelry, the freeway, women, good food, baths, and more. [Prison] is a punishment sun-up to sun-up, 24-7-365. Every moment is horrible. The only thing that makes me smile is time, time is on my side. Every tick tock of the clock brings me closer to reprieve."

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